Speaker's wife in Big Brother house
Friday 19 August 2011
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow is "not exactly chuffed" to see his wife in the Big Brother house, she has admitted.
Sally Bercow said her husband "wasn't very pleased" that she had joined the new-look reality show.
Bercow said she was taking part to "stick two fingers up to the Establishment" but also to raise £100,000 for the charity Ambitious About Autism.
In the film shown before her arrival at the house in Elstree, Hertfordshire, last night, she said her husband tried to keep her in line, but added: "The very fact I'm on here proves he hasn't succeeded.
"I hope he doesn't divorce me over it."
Bercow said she wanted to prove she was a person in her own right, adding: "I am not my husband."
"I want to stick two fingers up to the Establishment, who think it's not the sort of thing I should do," she said.
Bercow, who came under fire earlier this year after she appeared in a newspaper wearing nothing but a bedsheet, admitted "it's going to raise a few eyebrows in Parliament".
When she arrived outside the house, wearing a tight blue dress and black heels, the show's host Brian Dowling asked how her husband felt about her decision to appear.
"He's not exactly chuffed about it," she said.
"He wasn't very pleased, but he does know what I'm like.
"He respects the fact that I do my own thing."
Bercow joined celebrities including Kerry Katona, American Pie actress Tara Reid and Amy Childs, from ITV2's The Only Way Is Essex, in the house.
Also inside are Paddy Doherty, of Channel 4's My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, photo agency boss Darryn Lyons, actor Lucien Laviscount, David Hasselhoff's former wife Pamela Bach Hasselhoff and model Bobby Sabel.
Last to arrive were Jedward - twins John and Edward Grimes - who cartwheeled down the runway.
The fast-talking pair, who found fame on the 2009 series of The X Factor and went on to represent Ireland in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, wore tiger-print tailed jackets, black leggings and trainers with pandas' heads on as they bounced into the house.
Once the line-up was complete Big Brother ordered one housemate to the diary room.
Katona volunteered and was given a secret mission to be chosen as the house's biggest diva in a vote today - or face punishment.
"I'm not a diva. Why couldn't I let someone else come in?" she said.
William Hill has installed Childs and Jedward as the joint favourites to win with odds of 3/1. Laviscount is just behind on 9/2.
The bookmaker gave the longest odds of 25/1 to Lyons.
In the coming days, viewers can expect to see sparks fly, friendships form and various humiliations for the stars who have agreed to take part for fees which will total hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Many will also be keeping a keen eye on the fortunes of the programme itself, to see how it will fare in the ratings following its switch from Channel 4 to 5.
Other shows which have moved to the station from various networks - including Neighbours and Home And Away - have seen a near instant drop in viewers.
Channel 4 axed Big Brother last year after 11 series of the main show and a number of celebrity versions.
It was a key priority for media tycoon Richard Desmond when he acquired Channel 5 last year, although the deal to secure the programme took many months.
As soon as the celebrity series is over, a regular Big Brother series will begin.
Brian Dowling, who won the show in 2001, took over as host after regular C4 host Davina McCall bowed out when Channel 4 dropped the show.
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